This is going to be a rather short commentary on a mutual friend of all those who have had the good fortune to read and or write for this and other venerable sites. This is about Mr. Paul I. Adujie. For quite sometime now Paul has been absent from the pages of NIA and other sites. And quite frankly I miss his style; I miss his subject matters, I miss his stubbornness, and I also miss his unfaltering devotion to
After all this years, I am still not sure why he took the positions he took. I am not sure why he failed to abandon Obasanjo even when Obasanjo became a liability to himself and to the nation. I am not sure why he refused to abandon ship even when it became obvious he was in the minority. Paul didn’t care whether his position was popular or not. He didn’t give a razzass whether or not he was in the minority. He didn’t give a hoot about the booing, the name callings, and the catcalls. He was steadfast in his belief. How he was able to take all the verbal abuse was beyond me.
For a while, it was as if readers were waiting in the alley to punch and pound on him. His essays seem to irritate readers. I remember telling him on a number of occasions to “take it easy,” or not to respond to respondents. But he was a fighter. He had heart. He gave as much as he took. But there was never a time he complained about the punches, there was never a time he showed signs of fatigue. Through it all, he wrote and behaved like a man on a just cause. Perhaps he was. He believed strongly in the things he was writing and responding to.
There were times he annoyed me. There were times he pissed me off. And I remember telling him, on more than half-a-dozen occasions, that I was going to take him to the cleaners, shred him to pieces on the pages of the NIA, NVS, Gamji, and other sites. He’d laugh and tell me to “bring it on.” He was never afraid. I am not good at complimenting people, but Paul was. Even his criticisms of my essays were mild and respectful.
I am no longer sure of how and when I first came across his name and commentaries; I only now remember that we had a very rough and hostile beginning. That must have been in the summer of 2004 when I was at
From time to time, we’d exchange emails back and forth. Through it all, Paul refused to tell me his ethnic background. He even refused to tell my mother (when my mother asked him in the summer of 2006). For him, he was a Nigerian, an African. After all this years, I still couldn’t tell if he was an Igbo, Ijaw, Tiv, Urhobo or a mixture of this and that and everything in between. It was enough that he was a Nigerian. He was a proud Nigerian.
The last time Paul Adujie and I had any “meaningful conversation” was when I was planning a trip to
Months later, Paul and I had our fallout. Or at least I thought we had our fallout. Over what? I couldn’t tell you. I couldn’t tell you because I really don’t know. But my guess is that he was mad at me for something I said or didn’t say. What is that something? I don’t know — only that he has refused to acknowledge my emails and phone calls.
Paul’s last posting was on Saturday, 13 October 2007 (Nuhu Ribadu: A True Defender of The Rule of Law). However, one of his most memorable treatises was posted on Wednesday, 19 July 2006: “Mourning, Culture & the Individual.” From time to time, I still read it. It was real. It was honest. It was heartfelt. He was that kind of a writer: his writings have a way of touching one’s psyche. Hate or love his position, it is almost impossible to be indifferent to his worldview.
Wherever he may be, whatever he may be doing — at home or abroad — I wish him well. And I am sure a lot of people on this site miss him, and wish him well, too. Happy New Year, Paul Adujie…but where are you?